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FB98 Bass Forecast

FB98 Bass Forecast

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Bass fishing is off to a great start in Florida for 2014, and TrophyCatch is rewarding anglers for releasing bass over 8 pounds. See www.TrophyCatchFlorida.com to register and submit yours, and follow us at www.FaceBook.com/TrophyCatchFlorida
Bass fishing is off to a great start in Florida for 2014, and TrophyCatch is rewarding anglers for releasing bass over 8 pounds. See www.TrophyCatchFlorida.com to register and submit yours, and follow us at www.FaceBook.com/TrophyCatchFlorida

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Florida Fish Busters’ Bulletin February 2014
Bass season off to a record-breaking start.
By: Bob Wattendorf , with John Cimbaro and KP Clements
Largemouth bass – Florida bucket mouths – are showing up in abundance this winter, with an outstanding year projected by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists. The first year of TrophyCatch ended, and the awards were all given out, but now the challenge is on for year two. TrophyCatch rewards anglers for catching, documenting and releasing largemouth bass heavier than 8 pounds in Florida. Bob Williams of Alloway, N.J., earned the TrophyCatch Championship Ring for the first season. It was presented at Bass Pro Shops in Orlando last month by Keith Alan, from the American Outdoors Fund, and Tom Champeau, director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. His winning catch was a 13-pound, 14-ounce largemouth from Rodman Reservoir. He previously earned a free ($500 value) fiberglass replica of his catch and other awards totaling approximately $1,000.
 Dan Echols shows off a properly documented Trophy Club entry from Lake Istokpoga. More TrophyCatch entries were verified from Lake Istokpoga the first year than from any other large lake.  Bob Williams' TrophyCatch Championship ring from season one.
 A $10,000 check was handed to Peter Perez at a special ceremony at West Lake Tohopekaliga by Experience Kissimmee representatives Debby Guertin and Terry Segraves, along with Champeau. Perez caught the largest TrophyCatch verified bass from Osceola County to win the prize. His winning 12-pound, 3-ounce bass was caught last March in a neighborhood pond on a Rat-L-Trap. The winner of the 2013 Phoenix 619 bass boat, powered by Mercury, was surprised angler Frank Ay. His prize was presented to him following a club tournament on Lake Okeechobee by professional bass angler Bobby Lane, Champeau and KP Clements, the TrophyCatch coordinator. Ay won the $40,000 grand prize via a random drawing from among 4,000 anglers that registered for TrophyCatch the first season. See the TrophyCatch Florida YouTube channel ( YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida
) for coverage of each of those awards. For the second year, which began Oct. 1, documenting a TrophyCatch has gotten simpler. Start by registering for free at TrophyCatchFlorida.com, and you
s an Under The Bridge film crew looks on, Tom Champeau and Bobby Lane surprise Frank Ay (center) with a Phoenix 619 bass boat powered by Mercury--just for registering at www.TrophyCatchFlorida.com. Tom Champeau, Debby Guertin and Terry Segraves resent Peter Perez (second from right) the $10,000 Experience Kissimmee TrophyCatch award for season one
will automatically be entered to win a Phoenix bass boat, powered by Mercury and equipped with a PowerPole. This year the only required photo is one of the entire bass (head to tail) on a scale, with the weight visible. Always attempt to get that shot, but if it isn’t perfect, supplement it with a close up of the scale, a photo of the entire fish on a bumpboard or tape measure, and maybe even a shot of the bass’s girth. This will help a verification team of fisheries biologists determine if the fish is eligible for recognition. You can also submit a bragging photo and perhaps a release photo on the website. Every verified entry gives you 10 more chances for the Phoenix boat drawing in October. The second year is off to a great start, with 63 Lunker entries (8-9.9 pounds) and 26 Trophy Club (10-12.9 pounds) recorded in less than the first four months, and more than twice as many entries in December 2013 compared with December 2012. The first Hall of Fame entry (greater than 13 pounds) is awaiting verification. Besides checking out the gallery, under “view catches” at TrophyCatchFlorida.com,  you should also review the rules and prizes. Then be sure to follow us at FaceBook.com/TrophyCatchFlorida to see all the latest entries and get updates on special events.
Season two (Oct. 1, 2013-Sep. 30, 2014) is easier than ever. To encourage effective catch and release, the ideal photo is one of the entire fish on a scale, with the weight legible. Other photos are recommended to supplement your entry, if the fish can be safely released.

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